Large industrial electricity consumers are continuing to switch onto solar. CUB is the latest to move after signing a large PPA with BayWa r.e.
The move is a part of CUB’s plans to source 100% of its electricity needs from renewable energy. CUB will also install rooftop PV at each of its brewery sites in Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania.
CUB is the brewer behind iconic Australian beer brands such as Victoria Bitter, Crown Lager and Carlton Lager. It also produces beers aimed at the ‘crafty’ market such as Yak, 4 Pines and Goose Island Beer Company
“Beyond our driving commitment to reduce our emissions, the investment also stacks up when you look at the reduced price we will pay to power our operations,” said CUB CEO Jan Craps in a statement. “Moving to renewable energy will ensure that we have certainty of supply and pricing, something that is incredibly important for a manufacturing business like ours.”
The PPA signed by CUB builds on the momentum of Australian industries that are seeing large scale and distributed solar deliver power at costs below those that can be delivered by traditional generators. Growth in solar corporate PPAs could potentially offer a lifeline for some of the large pipeline of utility scale projects currently coming under development that may find difficulties in signing a long-term offtake agreement with a utility.
“For BayWa r.e., the partnership with CUB represents another success in Australia,” said Matthias Taft, the BayWa AG board member who runs its energy business. “Since entering the market, BayWa r.e. is now active in solar and wind project development and the solar installer wholesaler market.”
BayWa AG is no newcomer to supplying large energy consumers. In Europe, it provides a range of traditional and renewable energy solutions to industry including the agricultural sector. Taft told pv magazine that being a global player allows it to partner with large corporations that are pursuing 100% renewables goals, but might not know how to get there.
“We have contacts with businesses through existing relationships across Europe,” said Taft. “Businesses are taking a global approach in wanting to meet more and more of their energy needs from renewable sources. Being a global business ourselves, we can work with them to provide a global solutions approach.”
CUB is owned by global brewing giant AB Bev, which is responsible for international beer brands like Beck’s, Corona, Budweiser and Stella Artois.
“We are providing companies with a PPA, and right now it is a PPA based on kWh,” said Taft. “But in the future, we can deliver more – such as a reliable amount of capacity by adding a battery of hybrid wind/solar solution together to get a better production profile.”
Construction on the 112 MW Karadoc solar farm is said to be underway. BayWa r.e. has financed the required 4km grid connection itself. Beon Energy Solutions is responsible for construction of the PV power plant.